Kudo Total Elbow Arthroplasty in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Long-Term Follow-up Study


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Abstract

Background:Improvements in the design of total elbow prostheses over the last two decades have led to better and more consistent results. The type-3 Kudo total elbow prosthesis was developed in 1980. The long-term results of use of this implant have not been reported. Because it is an unlinked prosthesis, it is not known whether preservation of the anterior oblique component of the ulnar collateral ligament at the time of implantation is important.Methods:A type-3 Kudo total elbow arthroplasty with cement was performed in forty-seven patients (fifty elbows) with rheumatoid arthritis. Revision rates, clinical symptoms, postoperative complications, and radiographic changes were assessed eleven to sixteen years (mean, thirteen years) postoperatively.Results:The overall survival rate of the prosthesis was 90% at sixteen years. The mean Mayo elbow performance scores were all poor (mean overall score, 43 points) initially. The overall score was substantially improved at both the intermediate follow-up examination (four to six years after the operation) and the late follow-up examination (eleven to sixteen years after the operation), to 81 and 77 points, respectively. The overall rate of radiolucency about the humeral component was 45% at the intermediate follow-up examination and 100% at the long-term follow-up examination. The rate of radiolucency about the ulnar component at the intermediate and late follow-up examinations was 4.3% and 8.9%, respectively. No great differences in results were found with preservation of the anterior oblique component of the ulnar collateral ligament.Conclusions:This long-term follow-up study showed acceptable results of the type-3 Kudo total elbow arthroplasty in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Preservation of the ulnar collateral ligament does not seem to be necessary when performing this procedure.

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